Americans spend 90% of their lives indoors

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I rode the metro home yesterday from a briefing on global climate change on Capitol Hill. The entire event was depressing.First off – it looks like a bomb went off on the Capitol grounds. I know they’re building tunnels and bunkers and reinforcing foundations, but it looks like hell. I thought the White House looked bad. Walk at your own risk if you’re by the Capitol building.

Then I sat through an hour-long briefing about climate change. Humans are stupid. People are greedy. And the scientists were making a lot of sense.

The images were ghastly – esp. side-by-side photos of Kilimanjaro taken in 1912 and in 2000. The contrast is staggering. By the year 2020, the ice cap will be gone.

Anyway – so I was already feeling a little grumpy, a little unsettled, when I looked up and read this advertisement for Wisk’s America Needs Dirt campaign.

“The average American spends over 20 hours a day in an enclosed structure.”

How depressing!

It’s no wonder no one pays attention to the environment – the quality of the air we breathe or the water we drink – or the climate. I mean – if everyone stays indoors, who cares if the sea level rises 20 centimeters or that the air quality index warns of unhealthy levels?

That also provides an answer to the American obesity problem. People are bigger because instead of gardening, they’re sitting on a couch watching television; instead of going for a walk, they’re crosslegged on the bed surfing the net; instead of playing outside with their kids, they’re trapped in cars stuck in traffic.

Doesn’t sound like much of an American dream to me.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m guilty of preferring the artificial cool of air conditioned rooms to the humid heat of outside. I sit indoors, drinking gallons of coffee at $4.95 a cup, surfing the net in coffeeshop bliss. I’m guilty of plopping on the couch to zone out for hour after hour of Netflix pleasure.

I don’t know if it was the shock of seeing the Capitol grounds torn up (because I never ever go down there and hadn’t seen any of the construction until yesterday), or the effect of the climatologists dire predictions, or my dismay to realize that I too am one of those Americans who spend 90% of their lives indoors…… I’m going to spend more time outside.

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